The scene: rooftop bar Andaz, a hot night in West Hollywood. Three hundred bloggers are gathered for a party, the theme is 80’s prom. I can’t make my way from one end of the joint to the other in any sense of normal time – guests are wearing name tags bearing their blog names or Twitter handles so I am stopped by, or I stop, people who exclaim “Oh! I follow you on Twitter!” and then we drink in what we look like in real life, compliment each other’s 80’s getup, and say we’ll see each other later.
I also already know several people IRL and so I stop to chat with them, soothed out of my Wednesday evening traffic induced crabby funk by the free drinks and ridiculous attire of my fellow partygoers, and the cheerful support of my friend Lisa. After yet another strking encounter, this time with one of my local writer crushes, I turn to Lisa.
“Am I embarrassing?” I ask.
“What do you mean?” no stranger to odd questions from me, she humors me.
“You’ve known me for 100 years. I’m totally working the room.”
She barely holds back from rolling her eyes.
“I have known you for 100 years. You’ve always worked the room.”
Three days later. The presidential suite of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Tower, the very last party of BlogHer 09. I’m hiding in the bedroom while a big party rages on the other side of the door. It is what feels like my 400th party in a row and for the first time in my life, I’m partied out. I sit at the desk with my new iPhone, content to tweet sad little messages from my lonely spot. Every few minutes the man working the party bangs on the door and I let him in so he can restock the stemless plastic cups by the wine tubs. The cups are neat because they have special depressions on one side for your thumbs.
I decide I want some company, but I don’t want to go back out to the party. Before ducking into the bedroom, I stood before 4 women who represent McDonald’s – the party’s sponsor – and told them about my lifelong love/hate relationship with the place. At first they were amused, but as I continued I could see The Crazy reflected in their eyes. They offered to send me a t-shirt with a giant picture of a Big Mac on it like the ones they were wearing (mostly because I shoved my business card in their faces and demanded one). Maybe they’ll lose my card, but they won’t forget meeting me.
I decide to text my new BFF‘s from my perch at the desk, just on the other side of the wall from the loud, happy party. I send them on a scavenger hunt with me as the prize. Eventually they find their way to me, we grab some wine and some thumby plastic stemless cups, and we talk.
And we talk, and talk. The party is broken up, we are politely asked to leave without so much as a quizzical look about why we are hiding in the bedroom (the hostesses are BlogHer conference veterans, they must know how overwhelming it all is), and we make our way to the BFF’s room and talk some more. I leave them at 2AM, sad to say goodbye.
The lessons: I’m 37 years old, a mother of two, a wife of one, with a job and responsibilities. I’m off my Party Game, and that is okay. It’s fun to indulge in that side of myself once in a while. This last weekend was a marathon, and I didn’t train correctly. I worked the room for more than three days straight, and it was awesome, but I’m exhausted. After my head stops spinning and I catch up on my sleep, I will go through all my business cards and swag and coupons for free things to test and write about, and I will make a plan. I will put it into action, and I will return to a regular writing schedule.
For now, I’m content to tweet about all that stuff, find the pictures online, and look forward to bedtime.
Count me in for both parties again in ’10. This time, I’ll train for them.